by UnHerd Staff
Monday, 1
November 2021
12:01

UnHerd picks: October’s best Substacks

Featuring Dr Fauci, cancellations, anti-natalism, and extreme weather
by UnHerd Staff
Where do I click Subscribe? (Getty)

October saw party conference season finish in the UK, the death of Colin Powell, legal conflict between Poland and the EU, and the murder of a sitting British MP.

But elsewhere — especially in the expanding digital ecosystem of Substack — writers and journalists less tethered to the news cycle have been following their own interests, and producing superb work. Over the course of the month, UnHerd staff collected some of the best new writing.

1. Anthony Fauci Has Been Abusing Animals for 40 Years

Journalist and filmmaker Leighton Woodhouse investigated Dr Anthony Fauci and The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’s long history of experimenting on animals. Estimates of the number of animals experimented on each year in the United States range from the tens of millions, to over a 100 million, most of them paid for with tax revenues. The NIH, run by Fauci since 1984, spends more than $40 billion a year on medical experiments.

Fauci has been testing on animals for close to four decades, and failing to produce results for just as long. In the 1980s, he infected chimps with HIV in his quest for a vaccine that still doesn’t exist. When that approach failed, he proposed moving on to other animals. As recently as 2016, he was still touting the likelihood of a new HIV vaccine based on animal studies. After a drug taken for intestinal illnesses showed promise in suppressing HIV in monkeys, Fauci personally flew to Boston to deliver the good news to the drug maker’s executives. Two years later, it turned out to be another dud.
- Leighton Woodhouse

Does cancellation work? Author Freddie deBoer, who has some experience of being hounded, suggests that those who think it doesn’t have it all wrong:

Canceling often works; it just doesn’t work remotely consistently, and doesn’t work at all against the rich and powerful, making it regressive, fickle, and cruel. Besides, you only notice the ones who stick around, not the successfully canceled. Either way you should probably get your story straight about whether canceling doesn’t work or is a righteous tool for liberating the oppressed.
- Freddie deBoer
2. First Comes Love. Then Comes Sterilization

Over at Bari Weiss’ Common Sense, Suzie Weiss wrote about the young women in America who never want to have children. The essay is full of extraordinary stories of women like Isabel, 28, an anti-natalist who lives in southwestern Texas and has just been approved for a laparoscopic bilateral salpingectomy — the removal of her fallopian tubes.

Isabel is planning a ‘sterilization celebration’ at a local sushi joint. There will be lots of booze, a smattering of friends, and her brother and his husband, who are also child-free. “I don’t want to work my life away,” says Isabel, who hopes to retire in her fifties or earlier.
- Suzie Weiss
3. Walking America: Buffalo

Chris Arnade walked through Buffalo, and found an American city beginning a tentative recovery from deindustrialisation. N.S. Lyons wrote about the strange return of gnosticism. Ian Leslie wondered why we instinctively avoid thinking about sex and gender.

4. Pessimism as a spur to action

James Meadway wrote about the era of ‘cheap things’ coming to an end. Why has the price of coffee, milk, sugar, wheat, oats and orange juice shot up 63% since 2019? Extreme weather conditions. Economists and governments, Meadway argues, are being far too optimistic about the future.

5. Our Anger Problem Is Making Me Angry

How did America become so angry? Author Matt Labash charted the emotional temperature of the United States by writing about his father. Stoic, cool, and ex-military, Labash’s dad never seemed upset or surprised by anything:

The point is, my father – respectable military officer, pillar of his church, apple of his grandchildren’s eye, a half-interested, not terribly-fanatic conservative most of his life – had now been seized by The Fever. Anger Fever. As has a good chunk of the rest of the country, many of our countrymen suffering the same side effects that hyperpyrexia (or a very high fever) brings: dizziness, sweating, rapid breathing, nausea, changes in mental state, extreme confusion…..you get the idea.
- Matt Labash

His father wasn’t an outlier. “Roughly half a decade or so ago, I started noticing that everyone began to believe that their political opinions were the most interesting things about them.” Of course the truth, as Labash sadly notes, is “usually exactly the opposite.”

Join the discussion


  • Need to do one on Youtube, they have amazing stuff.

    I like George Gammon, his ‘White Board’ presentations (scattered throughout his videos) are a class in how economics work, from money creation, banking, Central Banking, Monetary/Fiscal stimulus, QE… and a half dozen of them can get you hooked on the insane economic system the world has used for centuries. Here is a ‘White Board’ presentation on the USA Debt Ceiling. Very worth watching instead of some horrible Netflix as he is entertaining and educational – and EVERYONE needs to know something of Macro-Economics as to be a voter one must understand that it is you are voting for. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-Ru4DCT5aE

    (( He does stray off into the freedom side a lot (in his other channel mostly) and here is a wild one on conspiracy, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb72ST7P03I )) The guest sounds so reasonable, but even for me is a bit OTT – but an interesting way to dip ones foot into the conspiracy loon tub.

    This guy is fantastic, a macro-economist who has been working in East Asia for decades as a consultant, telling of Global Economy, Michael Every on a series called Wealthion, and the channel is well worth a couple hours weekly to hear guests talk of current economic situations. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WyEPltVWMM

  • The article by Suzi Weiss is very sad. Sad because so many young people genuinely seem to have given up hope for the future, but also sad because (intentionally or not) it reveals the effect of victim culture on young people. For example, we learn the following about the young woman who features in the story, and who decided to have her fallopian tubes permanently cut so she’d never have children:
    She first set out to get sterilized at the age of 21 and was told by her doctor that she needed written consent from her male partner or to have already had two kids. Meantime, her childless male friend from high school had successfully gotten his vasectomy a year before. ‘That felt like an attack on me.’
    I can understand it might feel unfair that the woman couldn’t obtain voluntary sterilization as easily as a male friend. What’s striking is the way the young woman characterizes this situation: “That felt like an attack on me.” I think a generation (at least) of young people have thoroughly internalized the victim mentality; everything is an attack or microaggression.
    The article also notes many young people, especially women, are convinced our society is so racist, and our climate is so compromised, it would be unethical to bring a child into the world.
    Maybe there’s hope in this depressing situation among the young. Many of our problems are due to overpopulation (environmental pollution; too many young people for too few good jobs). Perhaps this anti-natalist movement, however depressing, is how an advanced society reduces its numbers.

  • The last example is frightening.
    “I ask what she hopes her childless life will look like. What countries will she visit? Where will she live? What will she do with all of her free time, and what does she hope her career will be? “It’s kind of hard to ask someone who is nineteen and hasn’t finished college what they want their life to look like,” she tells me, a little annoyed.” 
    oh the irony !

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